When I first started selling it was a complete disaster. I thought if I just got enough people to like me they would buy my products and services. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.
I actually learned how to sell from a master salesperson named Mark. Mark was simply able to move people beyond where they originally thought they could go.
Mark and I were making blitz calls (that’s how we did it back in the day). The funny thing today is that you back then you could actually get in to see people and have a conversation with them today. Even with all this technology we seem to have less time than we did 30 years ago. Go figure that one out!
Anyway, Mark and I called on this business and the Owner came out and immediately said he did not have time to talk. He stated that he appreciated us coming by, but we caught him at the wrong time.
Mark asked him a question about what was keeping him so busy and the man went on to talk for about four or five minutes about what he had to do. Mark asked him another question about that was related to what he wanted to accomplish. Our conversation with this guy who originally had no time to talk lasted for thirty minutes.
He invited us back and ultimately became a customer. What would have happened if Mark had simply said: “Ok, we’ll come back later”?
I asked Mark how did he take a guy who wanted no part of use and move him to wanting to have a conversation with us. He told me about persuasion and how people say things initially because they are programmed to say them. He went on to say that what people say is often not what they mean.
The ability to persuade people is a key skill for sales people. If you want to win the sales game you have to be able to create value, differentiate yourself from the competition, and gain agreement. But what facilitates you being successful in the sales process is your ability to persuade.
One of the best courses on persuasion was put together by a guy named Kevin Hogan. He is a master a persuasion and teaching persuasion. If you want to check out his stuff go to kevinhogan.winningthesalesgame.com.
To start practicing and developing your skill of persuasion, begin to notice what words and actions that cause people to connect with you. If you observe yourself you will see when conversations and attitudes shift in a positive way towards your message.
When you take notes of those instances, use them over and over again until you have mastered them.
Mastering persuasion in sales in not like a con game. You are helping your prospects get what they need to meet their objectives. And, because you helped them you benefit too.